A wasted opportunity

Phil Goff, Charles Chauvel and Chris Hipkins visit Poly Palace
22 October 2009

Recently Phil Goff, Charles Chauvel and I visited Poly Palace out in Porirua. Poly Palace is an innovative business established by one of the most interesting people I have met in a while, a guy called Richard Moore.

Richard is an inventor. He's established a business taking waste polystyrene from the landfill and recycling it to make under-floor and wall cavity insulation. He does this using machinery that he has made from other waste products such as old washing machines, angle grinders and even an old sheep dagg shredding machine.

Poly Palace was building into quite a nice little business until the government's Warm Up NZ Heat Smart programme was launched. Poly Palace were left out in the cold and have been unable to access subsidies. As a result, they have had to lay off the 7+ staff they had working on installations.

This situation is just crazy. Here is a business that saves hundreds (if not thousands) of cubic metres of waste each year and turns it into something useful. The staff they employed tended to be at the lower skilled end (often off the dole). It's the type of enterprise we should be encouraging, not shafting.

Chris Hipkins